Planning a winter vacation can be a little tricky. Many college students look forward to winter break as a time to relax and celebrate holidays with family and friends. But for international students, this time can be confusing since traveling home for student holidays is expensive and time-consuming.
But college winter break alternatives can help you experience other parts of the country or another country. Also, you may even be able to travel back home or have loved ones visit you.
We have a winter vacation guide with 7 helpful travel tips to help make your winter vacation a memorable one!
- Research your accommodation
It’s always wise to take a good look at where you’ll be staying but it’s even more critical during the wintertime.
Make sure you’ve double-checked essential details like:
Will bedding be provided?
Is there heat?
Do you need a 4-wheel drive to access it when there’s snow?
Is it close to things/activities you want to do?
Will you be able to stock up or have easy access to food if there’s bad weather/heavy snow?
Few people like these kinds of surprises, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before you book accommodation.
- Add a travel insurance
Some people prefer to take their chances without adding a travel insurance whereas some will definitely task it. However, traveling during the winter definitely increases those chances due to ice and snow. Most basic travel insurance packages protect you against bad weather cancellations, significant travel delays, and alternative transportation costs.
If you don’t want a comprehensive package, there are always options that you can customize for your specific vacation.
- Be Smart About Weather
Winter vacations can be tricky so don’t forget about the challenges with winter weather. Winter storms affect all forms of travel including travel by car, train, flights, etc.
Keep an eye on the weather along your route, so you have a heads-up if something bad is coming your way. However, in case you get hit by surprise, be sure you have cold-weather necessities prepared, including an extra tank of gas, warm winter clothes, fully charged phones, and even emergency flares.
- Book Activities Ahead of Time
If you’re planning to fill your schedule with any winter activities, it’s always wise tobook your time slots well in advance. For example, places like ski resorts, where everyone is there for the same things, reservations can fill up fast! It never hurts to plan ahead but waiting until the last second may mean missing out. The same goes for other popular activities like tubing or ice skating especially if you’re going during a busier time of the year.
If you’re planning to attend any holiday events, like Christmas concerts or ice skating rinks, make sure to book your reservations as early as possible. The holiday season is especially popular, so you don’t want to miss out on any events!
- Don’t Overpack
Especially with airlines, over-packing can mean hefty fees, so packing light is your best option. Pick items that are warm but not bulky and that you can wear multiple times in different combinations if necessary. You’ll already know what counts as essential and you can cull unnecessary coats, boots, and gear.
- Have Backup Plans
Always have a plan B. Bring games to play indoors if your outdoor plans get snowed out, and keep an eye on other flights to your destination if yours gets canceled or heavily delayed. You may even have a secondary location for the winter season in mind in case yours becomes suddenly inaccessible. Don’t forget to read the cancellation policies for each part of your trip so you can maximize refunds and put them toward your plan B.
- Choose the Right Winter Destination
Traveling during the winter doesn’t mean you have to go someplace with snow! If you hate being cold and trekking through snow, go for indoor activities and less outdoor activities. No matter what you’re looking for, there are many options to accommodate your travel plans during the winter.
Think of the kind of place that would make you the happiest during your winter getaway and do your research to see what’s available within your time and budget range. There are plenty of wonder winter vacation destinations.